baidu, industry, self-driving cars, videos, youtube

Baidu has become the first company in China granted a permit to run a commercial self-driving taxi service without the need for a safety driver.

Baidu’s service, known as Apollo Go, has been up and running in parts of China since 2021, but always with a safety driver either behind the wheel or in the front passenger seat.

That changed on Monday when the company announced its service is now permitted on open roads in the cities of Chongqing and Wuhan without a safety driver, albeit only during daylight hours spanning 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Chongqing and 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in Wuhan. The zones in which the taxis currently operate are also limited, measuring about 12 square miles in Chongqing’s Yongchuan district and just five in Wuhan’s Technological Development Zone.

The plan is to expand these zones as well as add more cities. Baidu’s taxis are also operating in parts of Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Shenzhen, and the company is seeking permission to have the services in Beijing and Guangzhou freed of the need for a safety driver next.

Baidu also aims to double the number of its taxis on Chinese roads to around 600 by the end of the year.

“This is a tremendous qualitative change,” Wei Dong, head of Baidu’s Intelligent Driving Group, said in a statement. “Fully driverless cars providing rides on open roads to paying customers means we have finally come to the moment that the industry has been longing for.”

baidu, industry, self-driving cars, videos, youtube

Baidu’s Apollo RT6 self-driving taxi

To receive the permit, Baidu’s taxis needed to undergo extensive testing and licensing, starting from testing with a safety driver behind the wheel to having the safety driver in the front passenger seat and then finally receiving permission to operate without anyone on board.

Baidu, which is often described as the Google of China as the company runs the largest search engine in the country, also on Monday revealed its sixth-generation self-driving taxi. Dubbed the Apollo RT6, the vehicle is claimed to have a unit cost of 250,000 renminbi (approximately $37,000) and will start operation in 2023.

In the U.S., Alphabet’s Waymo and General Motors-backed Cruise are allowed to charge fares in their respective driverless taxis. Waymo’s service is limited to parts of Phoenix but is being tested in San Francisco, while Cruise’s service is limited to parts of San Francisco.


TECH NEWS RELATED

AA DRIVEN NZ COTY 2022: Mitsubishi Outlander is the best Clean Car PHEV of the year

The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV has been one of the most important plug-in vehicles in New Zealand for a decade; it’s arguably the model that was first to bring electric vehicle technology into the Kiwi mainstream, proving that zero-emissions urban driving didn’t have to come at the expense of SUV practicality ...

View more: AA DRIVEN NZ COTY 2022: Mitsubishi Outlander is the best Clean Car PHEV of the year

AA DRIVEN NZ COTY 2022: BMW iX is the best Luxury car of the year

Luxury cars should be state-of-the-art, lavishly equipped, spacious and comfortable. The BMW iX, the first of a new generation of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) from the German maker, is all of that. But it’s also our top Luxury car because it does something else top-level models should do: break new ...

View more: AA DRIVEN NZ COTY 2022: BMW iX is the best Luxury car of the year

AA DRIVEN NZ COTY 2022: Honda Jazz is the best Passenger vehicle of the year

Passenger is a COTY category that’s very much a sign of the times. Basically, it’s anything that’s not an SUV or ute – the two segments that absolutely dominate the New Zealand new-vehicle market. Sedans, hatchbacks, station wagons, people movers… vehicle types that were once traditional but are now considered ...

View more: AA DRIVEN NZ COTY 2022: Honda Jazz is the best Passenger vehicle of the year

AA DRIVEN NZ COTY 2022: Chevrolet Corvette is the best Sports & Performance car of the year

Who doesn’t love a mid-engined V8 sports car with supercar style? It’s easy to be wowed by the Chevrolet Corvette C8 and quite right too: it looks incredible and goes fast. It’s a real poster car. But it’s also a worthy and significant winner for a whole bunch of reasons. ...

View more: AA DRIVEN NZ COTY 2022: Chevrolet Corvette is the best Sports & Performance car of the year

6 Reasons the 2023 Honda CR-V Is a Good SUV to Buy According to Cars.com

SUVs are all the rage these days. And for good reason—they offer the perfect blend of style, comfort, and utility. If you’re in the market for a new SUV, you’ll want to check out the 2023 Honda CR-V. For starters, the CR-V is known for its reliability. This is a ...

View more: 6 Reasons the 2023 Honda CR-V Is a Good SUV to Buy According to Cars.com

The New Sequoia Hybrid 2023 MPG Beats the 2022 by $1,150 Every Year

Toyota’s new 2023 Sequoia Hybrid is gaining fans for its comfort, off-road prowess, and its good looks. But it’s also making its mark with great mpg compared to the 2022 version. The new 2023 Sequoia ditches its V8 and instead gets a new hybridized V6 that shows the power of ...

View more: The New Sequoia Hybrid 2023 MPG Beats the 2022 by $1,150 Every Year

US: Kia EV6 Sales Dropped To New Low In November

Are sales going to rebound?

View more: US: Kia EV6 Sales Dropped To New Low In November

Elon Musk responds to Joe Biden’s plan to electrify the great American road trip

Tesla CEO Elon Musk recently responded to a post from US President Joe Biden, which referenced the electrification of the “Great American Road Trip.” According to Musk, there’s already a pretty good way to accomplish long road trips in the United States — at least if one uses a ...

View more: Elon Musk responds to Joe Biden’s plan to electrify the great American road trip

The 3 Most Reliable Ford Models According to Consumer Reports Owner Surveys

Don’t Dismiss Jeep’s Grand Wagoneer as a Rebodied Ram Truck

Why Ferrari’s ‘SUV’ is really a sports car

Feeney hopeful of being 2023 Supercars championship contender

Marque keen to make difference

Clean car laws impact sales

2023 GMC Sierra prices up, start at $38,995 for Sierra Pro Regular Cab

The Best 2023 GMC Canyon Trim Isn’t Cheap

Roar Before The Rolex 24 Schedule To Feature Traditional Format

Kiwi’s epic burnout celebration

The 3 Most Reliable Honda Models According to Consumer Reports Owner Surveys

The IMF Now Has A Championship Dedicated For Female Riders

OTHER TECH NEWS

Top Car News Car News